To lose or maintain a healthy weight is quite a hard thing to do especially if you’re not used to it. 

We all know maintaining a healthy weight is key for good health, but many of us are doing it the wrong way. It’s either we are not clear on which healthy foods to have or we are cheating on our healthy weight loss diet. So we asked dietitian, nutritionist and spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Isabel Maples about her guide to healthy, seasonal, but delicious food that can help us maintain or lose weight.

Below are Maples picks:

Studies show that dieters who consume more dairy foods tend to lose more weight. Nobody knows exactly why it works but researchers think that the higher intakes of calcium and vitamin D play a role. 

Certainly, milk’s nine essential nutrients can fill in the nutrient gaps caused by cutting calories, plus the protein can help one feel satisfied longer. 

Toasted salt and pepper cashews Picture: Jennifer Farley
Nuts have healthy fats, protein and fiber that can be very filling when one is cutting back on calories. Portion size is key, however, since the calories can add up quickly with such a tasty treat. For more mindful eating, crack open some pistachios. Seeing the shells pile up can remind you when it’s time to quit eating.

Sweet and summery, watermelon also helps hydrate. Its high water content gives you a generous portion for minimal calories (86 calories for a 1/16 wedge or 46 calories per cup). That’s good, too, because thirst can be mistaken for hunger, triggering eating when water would have worked. Research shows that high water foods can satisfy for fewer calories, leading to weight loss.

Cherry or grape tomatoes
In this Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 photo, small yellow and red "drop tomatoes" are spawning new recipes at a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel. The “drop tomato” is about the size of a blueberry and Israel’s Kedma company in the southern Arava desert says it is the smallest one ever developed in Israel, perhaps even in the world. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Pop a few sweet tomatoes when you feel the tendency to nibble. Even mindless eating won’t do much damage; a generous handful has about 50 calories. Plus, almost everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables. Tomatoes get their colour from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that seems to help prevent some cancers.

Beans, peas and lentils are great for weight loss. Whether dried, canned or frozen, they’re rich in fiber, which can help us feel full on less food. And nutrient rich beans- loaded with potassium, magnesium and folate- make sure that nutrition isn’t cut when calories are.

Dark chocolate

If you think losing weight is all about giving up all the foods you love, think again. Research shows that small splurges can help us stay on track with weight loss by avoiding feelings of deprivation. Small amounts of dark chocolate are meant to be savoured, so relax and unwind for a moment as the chocolate melts in your mouth.